Today I pressed the Chancellor on getting more lending to smaller businesses to create more jobs and money. This is a key concern in Dover & Deal as most people work in smaller businesses.
I said: "Have we not moved on from excessive bonuses to an emphasis on lending more money to small and medium-sized enterprises? Are we not seeing £10 billion for SMEs and £2.5 billion in total for the new growth fund?"
The Chancellor said: "My hon. Friend is absolutely right. For me, in these discussions the absolute key has been the additional commitment to lend to small and medium-sized businesses. Over the past couple of years, all Members have had people in our constituencies come to us with very difficult stories about the failure of banks to lend to such businesses, and we now have a commitment to increase the lending available by 15%, which is a substantial increase. Alongside that-I did not have time to go into all the detail, but it is being published this afternoon-there will be a new code of practice for the banks to treat their customers much more fairly: for example, they should engage with small businesses a full year before an overdraft comes up for renewal. For me, dealing with that crucial area of the economy-getting credit to small and medium-sized businesses-has been one of the most important parts of the new settlement."
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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